Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has acknowledged that the revelations in his controversial book, The Accidental Public Servant, would make former President Olusegun Obasanjo unhappy with him over his portrayal of his former boss.
The former minister, who spoke in an interview to Abuja-based Metropole magazine, said he did not expect his former boss to be happy with him, “but that is okay, because I tried to be balanced with him.” In the interview, el-Rufai added: “He (Obasanjo) is very important to me and he gave me the opportunity to be in public service. I will always be grateful to him. “But I can’t pretend that Obasanjo as president was perfect. I argued with him as a minister, even in cabinet meetings. There were people that were surprised I survived because anytime he brought something that I believed was not in the best interest of Nigeria, I argued.”
He further said as public figures, “we will continue to be scrutinised and we should understand that whatever we do will be public. “This is the age of transparency and accountability. Anything you say or do, if you don’t want it to be public you better not say it. This is the age we live in. “I don’t know whether Obasanjo will be happy with this book or not, but it is my truth and I think overall, all of us should sacrifice our pleasures for this country to make progress. Let the country make progress and we will all benefit from it.”
On the allegation by Obasanjo’s supporters that he was unjust to the former president in his memoir because he did not pick him as his successor, el-Rufai said: “I am a permanent suspect, you know. The late Yar’Adua went after me because of that. But I have stopped explaining myself or defending myself on that. “I have written my book and those that say this is the reason should write their own book and prove that I wanted to be president at any time. I am not an aspirant and I am not a contestant for any office. I have said so and nobody believes me and people have gone after me, people are still going after me because of that.”